Leicester Galleries

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Arts Council of Great Britain


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London Commercial gallery founded in premises off Leicester Square in 1902 by the brothers Wilfred and Cecil Phillips. They were joined in 1903 by Ernest Brown, a dealer of long experience, but the dominant figure in the firm was his son Oliver Brown (1885–1966), who became a partner in 1914 and dedicated his life to the gallery. In the first half of the century it was one of the country's leading venues for promoting modernist art, exhibiting the work of Matisse and Picasso. Brown's experience was valuable to the Arts Council in its early days (he served on its arts panel from 1949 to 1954) and his expertise was valued by Christie's auction house (he was a close friend of its chairman Sir Alec Martin). Exhibition: The Memoirs of Oliver Brown was posthumously published in 1968. The original gallery in Leicester Square subsequently moved to Great Audley Street, where the site provided more spacious premises, and then to Cork Street, a location especially associated with the art trade. The gallery closed in 1977.

Subjects: Art.

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